The Godfather Part II? Raging Bull? Nah, how about rape jokes, lad culture, and paedophilia? No? Funny, that seems to be what Dirty Grandpa think the kids are into nowadays.
Zac Efron and Robert De Niro look like the perfect comedic duo, the latter taking our High School Musical sweetheart on a sex-driven road trip to feel young again after the death of his wife. Yet what ensues is far from pleasant reminiscing through the family scrapbook.
As soon as the opening credits start, showcasing poorly photoshopped pictures of the main pair, it sets up the lacklustre tone for the rest of the film, somehow managing to make every character annoying, and taking one of cinema’s finest actors and making him a disturbing drug-obsessed nymphomaniac. It’s a bit like watching your grandparent get drunk at your cousin’s birthday party, and all you can do is helplessly watch as they tumble and vomit over everything whilst someone calls the ambulance.
“it takes one of cinema’s finest actors and makes him a disturbing drug-obsessed nymphomaniac”
Dark comedy has the potential for wide appeal in the hands of talented auteurs; and you’d think they could pull it off, coming from a director who was previously Sacha Baron Cohen’s wingman. But instead we get De Niro spouting racist, ableist, and homophobic slurs, the cameraman too busy zooming in on boobs and butts to pay attention to the ‘plot’. Congratulations truly have to be given to screenwriter John Philips, who crafted a script that would’ve taken Adam Sandler an army of his goons to recreate in all its atrocity. Drinking montages make up most of the running time, though even then the film overstays its misogynistic welcome.
I’d argue it was a ‘shame’ to see some of the actually funny lines have awful delivery, but Dirty Grandpa is the first film in a while to truly anger me, wasting the talents of good actors all for the sake of cashing in on the fuckboy iced gem demographic. Do the right thing – switch off its life support.
More like this: Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013)
Rating: Zoë Godden